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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: Ken Williams <>
Reply-To: Ken Williams <>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:44:54 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re:Market Opportunity for your :Provide e-catalog and brochure for

Dear Sir/Madam,

How  are  you and work? Hope  you are  doing fine.

I am a consultant to a trading company based here in Lagos -Nigeria who interested in importing and marketing your products here and beyond. If you are interested in exporting them through them , please provide us with your e-catalog and brochure for evaluation as to give you details inquiry.

Please  Reply Through my email:

Thank you as I await your prompt and positive response.


Ken Williams

Anti-fraud resources: